Once A Fool, Always A Fool — Larry Kudlow

I am often tempted to revive my old “Idiot of the Week” feature, for those who would qualify for the award are too numerous to even count.  On my radar today is a man I have written about before, back in 2018 when he was nominated by the former guy to the position of Director of the National Economic Council.  Here’s part of what I wrote about him at the time, just to give you some background …

It is said that Kudlow has been wrong about almost everything for at least the past several decades.    Take this one, for example:

“Despite all the doom and gloom from the economic pessimistas, the resilient U.S. economy continues moving ahead. There’s no recession coming. The pessimistas were wrong. It’s not going to happen.  The Bush boom is alive and well. It’s finishing up its sixth consecutive year with more to come. Yes, it’s still the greatest story never told.” – Larry Kudlow, 07 December 2007

Note the date … according to the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research (the official arbiter of U.S. recessions) the recession began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009, and thus extended over eighteen months. (A side note: President Obama, who has often been blamed for the recession by the GOP, did not take office until January 20th 2009, fully 13 months after the official start of the recession, and just 5 months before its end.)  And this is the guy who will now be advising the president, the man who leads the nation into either poverty or prosperity, on economic issues???

In 1993, when Bill Clinton proposed an increase in the top tax rate from 31 percent to 39.6 percent, Kudlow wrote, “There is no question that President Clinton’s across-the-board tax increases … will throw a wet blanket over the recovery and depress the economy’s long-run potential to grow.” This was wrong. Instead, a boom ensued.

The list of his faux pas is long, but the above examples should be enough to convince you that this man does not understand basic economic principles and wears blinders to shut out reality most of the time.

Kudlow’s background includes a degree in history from The University of Rochester in Rochester, New York.  Kudlow also attended, but did not complete, Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he studied political science and economics.  He should have stayed there longer.

He worked in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Reagan … remember ‘supply-side’ economics and the ‘trickle-down’ theory?

larry-kudlowKudlow held his position with the National Economic Council until January 20th, when President Biden was inaugurated, and Kudlow was replaced by Brian Deese.  But Kudlow has crossed my radar twice in the past few days … like a boomerang, he keeps coming back!

Kudlow has apparently replaced former Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs. Kudlow’s show, Kudlow, debuted in Dobbs’ old time slot last Tuesday, and since then his guests have largely been members of the former guy’s administration, such as Nazi sympathizer Stephen Miller (former senior advisor for policy and White House director of speechwriting), Robert Lighthizer (former U.S. Trade Representative), Steve Mnuchin (former Secretary of the Treasury), and Moncef Slaoui (former Operation Warp Speed chief advisor).  I’m not sure what relevance any of these people have today, but then … this is Fox.  I’m not sure what relevance Kudlow or Fox have at this point, other than to tell lies that some people will buy into.

But what really set my radar off was when he attempted to blame the widespread power outages on the fact that President Biden was elected!  He wasn’t able to explain how he came to that conclusion, so instead he rambled a series of vague idiotic statements about the President …

“I think they’ve moved very rapidly toward the progressive left position on a lot of these issues. He tried to temper it with talk about unity. There was some talk about moving to the center, that there would be more balance, there wouldn’t be a far-left progressive agenda. Unfortunately, in the early weeks—what, we’ve got a month here—it has been a left, progressive agenda. He’s gone after the energy sector. You saw some of the consequences in Texas. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

Let me clarify here.  What happened with Texas’ power grid was the fault of Texas politicians being both stubborn and unprepared.  It was not wind turbines, though yes, some of those did freeze, but natural gas wells and coal piles also froze, and those are the source of more of Texas’ electricity than the wind turbines.  Energy producing equipment was damaged by the deep freeze.  But the biggest culprit was the state of Texas itself, that decided to have their own power grid and disconnect from the two major energy grids, the Western and Eastern connections.  Independence from the rest of the nation was their stated goal (it should be noted that on January 26th, Texas State Representative Kyle Biedermann filed a bill to create a ‘referendum to the people of the State of Texas on the question of whether this state should leave the United States of America and establish an independent republic.’  No, they cannot simply secede from the nation, but this is just one example of their stubborn desire for independence.  And the situation with Texas’ power grid that took numerous lives, is a result of their stubbornness, not a result of Joe Biden’s election!

I thought … I hoped … we had seen the last of Kudlow, but thanks to Rupert Murdoch and the management at Fox, he now has an even louder voice than before.  Sigh.  I think we should be generous to members of the former administration and give them all a nice, long vacation … perhaps to Siberia for 4 years!

I Want My Mail!!!!

On December 12th, my daughter mailed a package to my friend in the United Kingdom for me.  The postal clerk informed her that it would not likely arrive before Christmas, but that if she were willing to pay an extra $30, she could get guaranteed delivery within 10 business days.  That would have put the package arriving on or before December 24th, Christmas Eve.  Perfect!  Except, the package did not arrive until January 20th.  Such is the state of affairs at the U.S. Postal Service today, under the management of one Louis DeJoy.  Only 38% of non-local first-class mail arrived on time in late December, compared with 92% in the prior year.

postal-service

Trump appointed DeJoy to the position of Postmaster General to head the USPS in June for one reason only – to attempt to slow or halt mail-in ballots for the November election.  DeJoy immediately cut hours, forbade extra trips to deliver excess mail, removed & dismantled hundreds of mail sorting machines, and removed many collection boxes from the streets.  Again, the only goal was to interfere with our votes, to keep our ballots from reaching their destination in time during the year of the pandemic when mail-in voting would be at an all-time high.

When President Joe Biden took his oath of office on January 20th, he almost immediately fired a number of high-level Trump appointees, with more certain to go in the coming weeks, but guess what?  Biden cannot fire Louis DeJoy … only the Board of Governors can do that.  Unfortunately, many of the members of the Board of Governors were appointed by … Donald Trump.

DeJoy was not qualified to take on the position of Postmaster General, his previous experience being the CEO of a for-profit logistics company, but qualifications never bothered Donald Trump overly much, since he himself had zero qualifications for his own job.  DeJoy also had some conflicts of interest in that he did not fully divest himself of his interests in certain companies that are considered competitive with the USPS.  DeJoy, by the way, has a net worth of $110 million.

But wait, it gets even worse.  DeJoy is reportedly preparing to unveil plans for another round of service cuts and operational changes as soon as this week.  The new plan will include more service cuts, higher and region-specific pricing, and lower delivery expectations.  Postal workers are up in arms and want President Biden to do something.  According to Mark Dimondstein of the American Postal Workers Union …

“We want a Board of Governors that understands fundamentally this is not called the United States Postal Business. It’s not a profit-making business. It’s here to serve the people.”

Here to serve the people.  Such a simple concept, isn’t it?  But over the last four years, ‘serving the people’ has become a thing of the past.  Donald Trump’s government was here to serve only one person:  Donald Trump.  Joe Biden is working hard to turn that around, to ensure that government does serve the people – all the people.  But, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Biden’s efforts will no doubt be stymied by the ignorance of a certain party in Congress.

Yesterday, I received a phone call and an email from the Canadian pharmacy where I order my insulin.  They informed me that I should order now, because deliveries to the United States are taking anywhere from 4-8 weeks!  I used to order my insulin and have it within 5-7 business days, but now it could take up to two months!  Bullshit!

Biden cannot fire DeJoy directly, but what he can do is fire the entire Board of Governors and replace them with men and women who care about doing the right thing, who have a conscience, who care about the people of this nation.  Congressional democrats are urging President Biden to do just that …

“My solution starts at the top: firing the whole board who presided over Trump and DeJoy’s wrecking of USPS. Clean house.” – Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey

The current Board of Governors consists of one democrat and four republicans.  Isn’t it a damn shame that our ability to send & receive mail, our ability to receive life-sustaining medication is controlled by partisanship?  Republicans are paid out of our tax dollars the same as democrats … so why are they not attuned to the needs of We the People?  Donald Trump exacerbated this, but he did not create it … it’s been building for a long time.  According to The Washington Post …

“DeJoy has told mail industry officials he intends to remain in office to roll out an agency reorganization… The plan, parts of which were outlined to a Senate panel in August, includes geographic pricing and longer delivery windows. He’s entertained leasing out Postal Service properties and offering non-mailing services, such as private financial services.”

usps-3‘Private financial services’???  WHY???  It is the Postal Service, not the Banking Service!  So, does Biden fire the entire damn Board of Governors and send DeJoy packing?  Seems a simple solution, but this may be a case where Occam’s Razor* does not apply.  There would, no doubt, be a hue and cry from the congressional republicans if he took this path.  However, there are three vacant seats on the Board, and if Biden appoints people of conscience to those seats, then it is likely the Board would be willing to give DeJoy the boot.  In a statement issued by the White House yesterday …

“Only the Board of Governors of the US Postal Service has the power to replace the Postmaster General. The President can, however, nominate governors to fill vacancies on the board pending Senate confirmation.  President Biden’s focus is on filling these vacancies, nominating officials who reflect his commitment to the workers of the US Postal Service — who can deliver on the post office’s vital universal service obligation.”

I hope, for all our sakes, that Biden moves swiftly on this for in some cases, our very lives depend on it.  Meanwhile, I recommend that if you send holiday cards or packages via the USPS, you start your shopping immediately and have them in the mail at least three months before you want them to arrive!

*Occam’s Razor states that the simplest explanation/solution is usually the right one.

Hypocrisy Does Not Deserve Praise!

Two things from the aftermath of the Capitol riots by ignorant mobs, aka domestic terrorists on Wednesday bear reflection …


Hypocrisy does not earn praise, in my book

Over the past 36 hours, a number of members of Congress, White House staffers, and Cabinet members have either spoken out against what Trump did on Wednesday, or in some cases have resigned their positions in the Trump administration.  There are people who think they deserve high praise for finally, after four years, finding their conscience.  I beg to differ, for these same people threw their lot in with Trump and many have been enabling him and his crooked endeavours for four years now.

So no, one right does not erase four years’ worth of near-daily wrongs.  Sorry, but these guys don’t get a pass, and in fact, part of the blame for Wednesday’s fiasco lies on their shoulders.

ryan-mcconnellSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday urged members of Congress not to contest the electoral votes, as some planned to do.  And at the end of the day, he denounced the violence that had been ongoing for much of the day, saying …

“They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed. This failed insurrection only proves how crucial the task before us is for our republic. Now we’re going to finish exactly what we started. We’ll complete the process the right way, by the book, we’ll follow our precedents and our laws, and our constitution to the letter. And we will certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election.”

EXCUSE ME, but to praise or even forgive Mitch McConnell for his role in the lead-up to Wednesday’s attack is impossible.  His is the ultimate hypocrisy, for on February 6, 2020, Mitch McConnell had the chance to ensure that the events of Wednesday would never have happened.  Instead, he chose to lick Trump’s boots, held a sham of an impeachment trial, not even allowing lawmakers to review the evidence in the case, but merely insisted that the Republican-majority Senate vote to acquit Trump.  Mitch McConnell must share in the blame for what has happened, for he is one of the few who could have almost single-handedly stopped it before it ever happened.

mike-penceAnd Mike Pence … there is some sympathy for Mike Pence.  He refused Trump’s request to basically install a dictatorship by shredding the Constitution and tossing out the legitimate votes for Joe Biden.  Yes, I’m glad he for once found a pair of cojones and stood up to Trump, and yes, I realize he is paying a price now, but DAMMIT … it’s much too little, far too late.  No, I have no praise for Mike Pence, for this is the first time since January 20, 2017 that Mike Pence has shown one bit of conscience or courage.

barr-stupid-2Then there’s William Barr who must surely share a portion of the blame, for it was he who in early 2019 essentially said that a sitting president is above the law, thus putting paid to any attempt to prosecute Trump for the many times he abused the power of his office and obstructed justice.  IF he had not protected Trump for the 22 months he served as Attorney General, it is highly likely that Wednesday’s events would never have occurred.  So yes, Bill Barr helped bring about the deadly fiasco from which we are still reeling.

And then there are the rats deserting a sinking ship, leaving their positions in Trump’s administration a full 13 days before they would have lost their job anyway …

Take, for example, Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who announced her resignation, effective next Monday, saying the terrorist attacks on the Capitol on Wednesday were …

“…  a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the president stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed.  It has deeply troubled me in a way I simply cannot set aside.”

Where has her conscience been for the past four years, as he ordered small children to be taken from their parents and put in cages, as he attempted to take affordable healthcare from every low income family in the nation?  No, sorry Elaine, a day late and a dollar short.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos who has spent four years diverting funds from public to religious schools, and made it harder for women who are sexually abused on college campuses to bring charges against their abusers, has also resigned her position, claiming in a letter to Trump …

“That behavior was unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”

No, Betsy … you’ve licked his boots and enabled him for four years … you don’t get high fives now.

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former acting chief of staff, resigned as special envoy to Northern Ireland on Thursday, saying …

“I can’t stay here, not after yesterday. You can’t look at that yesterday and think I want to be a part of that in any way, shape or form.”

Gee, Mick … a conscience?  Where was it in 2017 when you attempted to convince Trump to cut Social Security and Medicare?  Where was it in 2015 when you allowed a government shutdown simply because the proposed spending bill included funding for women’s health?  Oh no, you are not a good man, a man of conscience.

Keep in mind, also, that these people would be out on January 20th anyway, so they are leaving less than two weeks early, and no doubt already have plans made for whatever comes next.  Plus, none of them needs the paycheck, to put it mildly.


It is said that a leopard doesn’t change his spots …

Yesterday, Trump said, in a video which I will not watch …

“A new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20.  My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power. This moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”

Don’t believe it for a minute, folks, because just 24 hours prior to that, he incited the violence we saw on Wednesday with quite the opposite message …

“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats which is what they are doing and stolen by the fake news media. That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up, we will never concede. You never concede when there is theft involved.” 

Are those the words of a person who seeks healing and reconciliation?  I think not.  There is not a snowball’s chance in hell that he has done a 180° turnaround in just 24 hours.  No, his declaration that he would ensure a smooth transition of power is a pure falsehood, he does not mean those words, but was likely coerced to say them by whatever staffers and advisors remain in his employ.  They are intended to mollify those of us who would just as soon see Trump taken to a cliff and thrown off.  He wants us to become complacent.  Well don’t.  Don’t turn your back on him, for he is even more dangerous than a rabid dog.

twitterI understand that Twitter has restored Trump’s account after a 12-hour ban.  They should not have.  They should have decided as Facebook did, to keep his account closed until after he leaves office, at least, for this is his means of communication with the ignorant masses such as those who rioted and pillaged on Wednesday.  Take away his tweety-machine, for Pete’s sake!  Don’t let him air his grievances to thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people who aren’t intelligent enough to see his lies!

Bye-Bye Betsy

Every last one of Trump’s cabinet choices have been horrible, and as he nominated his various secretaries and directors of federal agencies, I shook my head so much that things shook loose in there and still rattle around on occasion.  The worst was probably his choices to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), first Scott Pruitt, then after ol’ Scott broke the law, Andrew Wheeler, former oil lobbyist.  But then, there was Betsy DeVos who he put in place as Secretary of Education … a more unlikely choice could not have been imagined, but she and her hubby donated millions to Trump and the Republican Party, so she somehow had to be repaid.

Ol’ Betsy didn’t much believe in public education but thought all children should be educated in religious or private schools, and … despite having the anatomy of a woman, she did everything possible to relieve women of their rights when it came to such things as being sexually assaulted on college campuses.  Whoever Joe Biden chooses to oversee the Department of Education will be a vast improvement over the ignoble DeVos.

It is reported that Biden has narrowed his choices for the position to two:  The first is Leslie T. Fenwick, dean emeritus of the Howard University School of Education and a professor of educational policy and leadership. The second is Miguel Cardona, who last year was named the top education official in Connecticut.  I know little about either of these two, but offhand I am leaning toward Cardona, for Fenwick is reportedly not a fan of education reform, something I think is going to become crucial in the coming months/years.  However, I will wait until Biden finalizes his choice then do some research and report back to you.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch …

During a departmental ‘virtual meeting’ earlier this week, DeVos spoke to the career staffers, many of whom she has fought with for the past four years …

“Let me leave you with this plea: Resist. Be the resistance against forces that will derail you from doing what’s right for students. In everything you do, please put students first — always.”

The word ‘sedition’ has been tossed about a lot lately, and this sounds remarkably seditious to me.  I wonder if all cabinet members are doing the same … urging their staff to create chaos and put up roadblocks to Biden’s agenda?  Oh, and that part about putting students first?  Betsy has not once done that, but has in fact done the exact opposite.

During her tenure, DeVos has attempted to halt the implementation of rules designed during the Obama administration to protect student loan borrowers.  During the coronavirus pandemic, DeVos directed millions of dollars of coronavirus relief funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act intended for public schools and colleges, to private and religious schools, directly in conflict with the separation of church and state.  And her most heinous crime, in my opinion, was when she repealed Obama administration guidelines for colleges dealing with reports of sexual assaults, saying that her concern was for men accused of such assaults.

Her tenure has not done anything that I can see to improve on our education system, but rather has been focused more on charter and parochial schools.  Let us hope that whomever President-elect Biden chooses will be far more concerned with actual education, an area in which the U.S. has fallen behind in recent years and will be empathetic to people who are buried under mounds of student loan debt, and also to those who are victims of sexual assault.  In other words, I’m hoping for the exact antithesis of Ms. DeVos.

Michael Flynn’s Fall From Grace Complete

Before reading the following post by our friend Jeff, I strongly suggest you do three things: 1) sit down, 2) pour a strong drink, 3) hold your jaw so it won’t drop to the ground. All set … then read what our friend has written about none other than the #$%&@ Michael Flynn! Thanks Jeff … I think. 😉

On The Fence Voters

In their Oval Office meeting two days after the 2016 election, President Obama warned then-President-elect Trump about including Michael Flynn in his new administration. New Jersey Governor Chis Christie also lobbied against hiring him.

But while initially considering those red-flag warnings, the new president decided instead to reward Flynn for his loyalty and hard work on the campaign by naming him National Security Advisor. It must have been too hard to resist rewarding the former 3-star Lieutenant General, especially for the constant “lock her up” chants he liked to lead at MAGA cult rallies.

His tenure as Trump’s top national security guy, as we now know, was short-lived. Soon, Flynn was fired after it came out that he lied to Vice-President Mike Pence about the nature and content of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

And it was within that context that Flynn was…

View original post 1,063 more words

Another “Wrong Person For The Job”

An ambassador is the highest-ranking representative to a specific nation or international organization abroad. An effective ambassador has to be a strong leader—a good manager, a resilient negotiator, and a respected representative of the United States. An ambassador to a foreign nation is to remain completely neutral of the domestic politics in the countries in which they serve.

Germany is the most populous nation in the European Union and has at its head Chancellor Angela Merkel, an astute and effective leader.  Trump’s first ambassador to Germany was Richard Grenell, about whom I’ve written before.  Grenell got off on the wrong foot almost from the moment his feet first touched German soil and he added insult to injury for as long as he remained.

On June 1st, Grenell formally resigned from his post, although since February he had devoted most of his time to being the acting Director of National Intelligence and largely neglected his duties as ambassador, likely much to the relief of Chancellor Merkel and others.  Now, Donald Trump has nominated yet another poor choice to the position of Ambassador to Germany, Retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor.

macgregorLet me tell you just a bit about Macgregor. He is a bigot and a xenophobe.  He is a frequent contributor and commentator for both Fox ‘News’ and RT, a Russian state-controlled international television network, where he freely expresses his views.

He often demonized immigrants and refugees. He warned Mexican cartels were “driving millions of Mexicans with no education, no skills and the wrong culture into the United States, placing them essentially as wards of the American people.” He repeatedly advocated to institute martial law at the US-Mexico border and “shoot people” if necessary.

He has claimed that Muslim migrants were coming to Europe “with the goal of eventually turning Europe into an Islamic state.” He criticized Germany for giving “millions of unwanted Muslim invaders” welfare benefits rather than providing more funding for its armed services.

Macgregor’s nomination is already seeing opposition in the Senate, however. Senate Foreign Relations Ranking Member Bob Menendez, whose committee oversees Macgregor’s nomination, has said that Macgregor’s comments disqualify him from any government office and called on his colleagues to reject Macgregor.

“Colonel MacGregor’s public statements over the years on immigration, Muslims, and our relationship with Germany should disqualify him for any government office, much less to represent the United States as an ambassador. Even if his views reflect those of President Trump, it is incumbent on the entire Senate, including Senate Republicans, to reject this nominee.”

I would like to hope that the Senate doesn’t merely rubber-stamp this one as they have done so many others, but with Mitch McConnell calling the shots, it is likely what will happen.

Trump himself has been critical of Angela Merkel and more than a few times has bullied and berated Chancellor Merkel in phone calls, even going so far as to call her stupid.  One must ask, when we consider Trump’s attitude toward Merkel, and his two choices for ambassadors to Germany, what his goal is?  We expect our ambassadors to be respectful toward the leaders and citizens of their host nation, but Grenell never was, and from all indications, Macgregor will not be, either.  Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has shredded long-established relationships with our allies, while cozying up to autocrats such as Putin, Bolsonaro, Erdoğan, Mohammad Bin Salman, and even Rodrigo Duterte.  What, exactly, is the game he is playing?  For certainly it is a game … Trump is a game-player, never a straight-forward and honest ‘man’.

Meanwhile, Trump is planning to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from bases in Germany, a move that is opposed by both republicans and democrats, as well as former military officials, who say the move will benefit Russia. I’ve long said that the reason Putin was so eager to help Trump win the 2016 election is he saw in Trump an ignorant ‘man’ who would be easily manipulated … a puppet, so to speak, to do his bidding.  Nothing I have seen since has disabused me of that notion.

Frankly, if I were Chancellor Merkel I would be sorely tempted to tell Trump to keep his ambassador on his own side of the Atlantic and I would bring my own ambassador home, let Trump put that one in his pipe and smoke it for a time.  Diplomatic relations require a number of things in order to work, with mutual respect at the top of the list.  Donald Trump respects nobody, and he makes that point with every decision he makes, with every sentence he utters.  In less than four years, he has taken us from a respected friend and ally to a pariah among most every nation.  It is almost as if his goal is to make the U.S. the most hated nation in the western world.  His “America First” policy could very well be the undoing of decades of diplomatic efforts.

Where’s The Mail???

I don’t know about you, but my mail delivery has been horrid for the past month.  My insulin arrived at the post office on a Thursday, I was told it would be delivered on Friday, but it wasn’t.  Then I was told it would be delivered on Saturday.  It wasn’t.  Finally it was delivered on Tuesday, after sitting in the post office for five days, this despite the fact that the box was clearly marked …Insulin boxI almost never get mail on Wednesday anymore, and only about half the time on Thursday.  No, this is not normal … prior to last month, I can only remember 2-3 days in the past 10 years that we didn’t receive mail.  In addition, a friend sent me a package from the UK in early May that I still have yet to receive.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is in deep trouble, my friends.  While Donald Trump is directly responsible for part of the problem, and I’ll get to that in a minute, the USPS’ problems began long before Trump showed up with his wrecking ball.

In 2006, under the Bush administration, Congress passed the Postal Act of 2006 that required the USPS to prefund 75 years’ worth of retiree health benefits in the span of ten years—a cost of approximately $110 billion. Although the money is intended to be set aside for future Post Office retirees, the funds are instead being diverted to help pay down the national debt.  This was the beginning of the USPS struggle to stay afloat.

And then in 2017, Donald Trump was inaugurated and things went downhill from there.  It is a personal vendetta for Trump.  Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, also owns The Washington Post.  The Post has been, as have all legitimate media outlets, critical of much of Trump’s rhetoric and many of his actions since taking office.  The criticism is well-deserved, and personally I think often understated.  However, as we know, Trump cannot tolerate criticism even when it is earned, so he went on a personal vendetta against Bezos and is refusing to release a $10 million loan to the USPS that was approved by Congress this spring, unless the USPS ‘quadruples’ what they charge Amazon to deliver packages.

Now, bear in mind that if the USPS did raise the rates to Amazon, it isn’t Jeff Bezos or Amazon who would pay the price … it is you and me.  Companies pass their costs to their customers … simple fact of life.

But there is another factor in play here.  Many believed in 2006 that the bill passed by Congress was an attempt to force the USPS to privatize … transferring ownership from the U.S. government to a private company, and thereby opening it up to competition.  Trump seems to be hellbent to sell off the USPS, and his current refusal to help keep it afloat seems to be an attempt to force that issue.  His Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has also called for certain parts of USPS to be sold off.

louis-dejoyEnter Trump’s new pick for Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy.  DeJoy’s main qualification for the position is that he donated millions of dollars to the Republican Party and $1.2 million to Donald Trump’s “Victory fund”.  Said Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, a long-time advocate of keeping the Postal Service public …

“When I heard that he had been appointed I quickly realized that the president is irrepressible in his move to destroy the USPS.”

Congressman Gerry Connolly, chairman of the House Government Operations subcommittee, also weighed in …

“President Trump rewards a partisan donor by installing him at the United States Postal Service. The Postal Service is in crisis and needs real leadership and someone with knowledge of the issues. This crony doesn’t cut it.”

No, it doesn’t cut it, but what’s new?  Most every member of Trump’s cabinet is highly Unqualified for the position to which they were appointed, and they were appointed either in return for mega-donations (Betsy DeVos) or to destroy some portion of this nation (Andrew Wheeler).  Apparently, DeJoy fits both of those categories.  DeJoy has said postal reform will include identifying “new and creative ways” for USPS to fulfill its mission with a focus on efficiency.  How ‘bout trying to deliver the damn mail on time???

In the past, I have argued against privatization of the Postal Service, for I felt that once profit became a motive, we would be the losers.  However, at this point, I’m not sure a for-profit business could f**k it up any worse than the federal government with a madman determined to destroy everything in his path is doing.

The statute that created the Postal Service begins with the following sentence: “The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by an Act of Congress, and supported by the people.”

Once again, Donald Trump is shredding, stomping and burning the Constitution of the United States.  November 3rd cannot come soon enough!burning constitution

Freedom of Speech??? Give Me The BOOK!!!

Oh no no no no no no no no no!!!!  Just NO! The headline reads …

Trump Administration Sues to Try to Delay Publication of Bolton’s Book

Has the United States Department of Justice ever heard of the First Amendment?  Have they heard of the Right to Free Speech?  Have they heard the term “Freedom of the Press”???  William Barr is a @#$% son of a bitch, and Donald Trump is unspeakably worse!

The story, according to the New York Times

The Trump administration sued the former national security adviser John R. Bolton on Tuesday to try to delay publication of his highly anticipated memoir about his time in the White House, saying the book contained classified information that would compromise national security if it became public.

The book, “The Room Where It Happened,” is set for release on June 23. Administration officials have repeatedly warned Mr. Bolton against publishing it.

Mr. Bolton made clear in a statement this week that his book contained explosive details about his time at the White House. He and Mr. Trump clashed on significant policy issues like Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan, and in his book, Mr. Bolton also confirmed accusations at the heart of the Democratic impeachment case over the president’s dealings with Ukraine, according to details from his manuscript previously reported by The New York Times.

First, it is highly doubtful that John Bolton is stupid enough to include any “classified information that would compromise national security” in his book.  And even if he did … remember that Donald Trump himself did that exact thing on numerous occasions:

  • Trump discussed classified information provided by a U.S. ally regarding a planned Islamic State operation during an Oval Office meeting on May 10, 2017 with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, providing sufficient details that could be used by the Russians to deduce the identity of the ally and the manner in which it was collected.

  • In an April 29, 2017, phone call, Trump told Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that the U.S. had positioned two nuclear submarines off the coast of North Korea. This was during a time when Trump was warning of a possible “major, major conflict” with North Korea. The locations of nuclear submarines are a closely guarded secret, even from the Navy command itself.

  • On May 24, 2017, Britain strongly objected to the United States leaking to the press information about the Manchester Arena bombing, including the identity of the attacker and a picture of the bomb, before it had been publicly disclosed, jeopardizing the investigation. British Prime Minister Theresa May issued a public rebuke, and British police said they would stop passing information to U.S. counterparts.

  • In July 2017, after a private meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin at the 2017 G20 Hamburg summit, Trump took the unusual step of confiscating and keeping his interpreter’s notes. This led U.S. intelligence officials to express concern that Trump “may have improperly discussed classified intelligence with Russia.”

  • On August 30, 2019, Trump tweeted a reportedly classified image of recent damage to an Iranian missile site that supposedly occurred as a result of an explosion during testing. Multiple concerns were raised regarding the public release of what appeared to be a surveillance photo with exceptionally high resolution, revealing highly classified U.S. surveillance capabilities.

I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones I’m aware of.  And frankly, the only thing that is likely to be ‘compromised’ by the release of this book is Donald Trump’s reputation, and that is already in the sewer.  Every person in this nation is paying for this government … we have the right to know what the ‘leaders’ are doing!

John Bolton has written a book about his time in the Trump administration.  According to the synopsis on Amazon …

cover of John Bolton's bookWhat Bolton saw astonished him: a President for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation. “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” he writes.

He shows a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government.

“The differences between this presidency and previous ones I had served were stunning,” writes Bolton, who worked for Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43. He discovered a President who thought foreign policy is like closing a real estate deal—about personal relationships, made-for-TV showmanship, and advancing his own interests. As a result, the US lost an opportunity to confront its deepening threats, and in cases like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea ended up in a more vulnerable place.

The reality is that it’s doubtful Trump & Co can stop the book’s release on Tuesday, and even if they did … the cat is already out of the bag.  On Sunday, ABC News will air an interview between Bolton and Martha Radditz that will provide wide insight into the book.  And, enough has been leaked already, such as these key points listed in The Guardian:

  • Trump pleaded with China to help win the 2020 election
  • Trump suggested he was open to serving more than two terms
  • Trump offered favors to dictators
  • Trump praised Xi for China’s internment camps
  • Trump defended Saudi Arabia to distract from a story about Ivanka
  • Trump’s top staff mocked him behind his back
  • Trump thought Finland was part of Russia
  • Trump thought it would be ‘cool’ to invade Venezuela

None of these should surprise us, given all that we’ve seen and heard over the past 3+ years, but nonetheless, these are not things we expect, or should have to tolerate, of the ‘leader’ of our nation.

Make no mistake … I don’t like John Bolton … he is a warmonger, which was precisely why Trump hired him.  But, he worked within the Trump administration for a year-and-a-half, and I’m very interested in what he has to say.  More importantly, we don’t ban books in this country … We the People have a right to read Mr. Bolton’s book, and read it we shall, one way or another.

The Snarky Snippets Just Keep Coming!

Whew … these days I’m never at a loss for things and people to write about!


Like father, like daughter …

Just like her father, Ivanka Trump cannot take criticism, but lashes out when she discovers that there are people who don’t love her simply because her last name is Trump.

Turns out, Ivanka was supposed to give a ‘virtual commencement speech’ to students at Wichita State University Tech yesterday, but her speech was canceled.  Why?  Faculty, students and alumni all objected and requested that the administration cancel her speech.  Why?  Think about it … this year’s graduates are entering the workforce at the most difficult time in modern U.S. history.  The unemployment rate is sky high, there is a raging pandemic that is NOT under control in this nation, and the foreseeable future is grim, to say the least.  What could a spoiled, privileged daughter of a New York real estate billionaire say to them that would be relevant to their circumstances?  Not a damn thing.

True to the family habits, she responded angrily on Twitter …

“Our nation’s campuses should be bastions of free speech. Cancel culture and viewpoint discrimination are antithetical to academia. Listening to one another is important now more than ever!”

IvankaListening to one another … when do you suppose was the last time Ivanka, or any Trump for that matter, listened to the concerns of those of us who don’t have at least six figures in our bank balances?  When do you think she last listened to that single mother who is struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table?  Never, that’s when.  Ivanka Trump is a spoiled little rich bitch and her words are the last thing today’s graduates care to hear.

But, not to be stopped, she posted a video of her speech online, apparently assuming the world is simply dying to hear from yet another ignorant Trump.

One line stands out …

“In my own life, I have found that my greatest personal growth has arisen from times of discomfort and uncertainty.”

WHEN has she ever known either discomfort or uncertainty???  🙄


I told you so …

Remember on Friday when I wrote about the Department of Labour unemployment numbers for May, and how Trump was patting himself on the back?  And remember I told you that I didn’t for one minute believe the numbers, for I no longer believe anything that comes out of the federal government?  Well, I was right.  The latest is that due to a “misclassification”, the numbers were underreported.  In fact, the unemployment rate for May was not 13.3% as Trump claimed, but rather 16.3%, and frankly I’m not convinced that this is an accurate representation, either.

The reason for my skepticism is this … the unemployment rate comes from a survey where Census workers ask about 60,000 households questions about whether they are working or looking for a job the week of May 10 to 16.  There are 128.58 million households in the U.S., so a sample of 60,000 is .047%, not even one half of one percent of all the households in the nation.  I strongly suspect the true number lies around 20%, though I have no way of proving it.

Bottom line is that there are a heck of a lot of people still unemployed in this nation, and Trump’s little celebratory speech, in addition to being disgusting and offensive, was all a lie.  Surprise.


The national bimbo speaks …

Now, I know that name-calling isn’t particularly mature and as a rule, I don’t like it, but sometimes you just must call a spade, a spade.  Or, in this case, a bimbo.  The new White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, is on the radar today.  This person has likely never in her life actually read a history book (I’m not sure she can even read big words), and yet she opens her mouth and speaks of those things of which she knows naught.

McEnanyThe following is from a June 3rd White House press briefing …

Reporter: Kayleigh, why did the president feel it was important to go walk over there through the park and to the church?

McEnany: It was extremely important. Look, the president wanted to send a very powerful message: That we will not be overcome by looting, by rioting, by burning. This is not what defines America. And going and standing by St. John’s church was a very important moment.

And I would note that throughout all of time, we’ve seen presidents and leaders across the world who’ve had leadership moments and very powerful symbols that were important for a nation to see at any given time to show a message of resilience and determination like Churchill, we saw him inspecting the bombing damage.

It sent a powerful message of leadership to the British people. And George W. Bush throwing out the ceremonial first pitch after 9/11, and Jimmy Carter, putting on a sweater to encourage energy savings, and George H.W. Bush signing the Americans with Disabilities Act flanked by two disabled Americans.

And for this president, it was powerful and important to send a message that the rioters, the looters, the anarchists, they will not prevail. That burning churches are not what America’s about, and that moment, holding the Bible up, is something that has been widely hailed by Franklin Graham and others, and it was a very important symbol for the American people to see that we will get through this through unity and through faith.

For the record, let me note that Trump is in no way, shape or form comparable to Winston Churchill, George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, or George H.W. Bush.  Further let me note that the Franklin Graham she refers to is one of the most unconscionable idiots the nation has ever seen.  Sigh.  Idiots, the whole lot of ‘em.

Something To Think About …

If you speak the truth, tell the facts, but your facts are not what Trump wants the people of this country to believe, you will be punished.  If your position is within Trump’s reach, you will be fired.  At the very least, your voice will be stifled, and you will be publicly denigrated by Trump.  This is the new reality in our government … you either agree with all that Trump says or pay the price.

The latest casualty of Trump’s war against We the People is Christi A. Grimm, the inspector general with the Department of Health and Human Services.  Her ‘crime’?  She told the truth.  She issued a report chronicling testing delays — up to seven days in some cases — as well as severe shortages of supplies in hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic.  Part of her report states …

“Hospitals reported that they were unable to keep up with COVID-19 testing demands because they lacked complete kits and/or the individual components and supplies needed to complete tests. When patient stays were extended while awaiting test results, this strained bed availability, personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, and staffing.”

Trump’s response was to falsely claim that the report was not only wrong but was politically motivated.  Say WHAT???  He demanded to know the name of the Inspector General who wrote the report, then demeaned her on his favourite venue, Twitter …

“Why didn’t the I.G., who spent 8 years with the Obama Administration (Did she Report on the failed H1N1 Swine Flu debacle where 17,000 people died?), want to talk to the Admirals, Generals, V.P. & others in charge, before doing her report. Another Fake Dossier!”

Just as an aside, if 17,000 people died from the H1N1 flu, how does that compare to the 70,000+ dead already in the U.S. alone, with another 100,000 or more projected in the next few months?  Not even in the same ballpark.

Ms. Grimm is a career official, not a political appointee, and began serving in the Office of the Inspector General in 1999, ten years before President Obama took office.  She is the third inspector general that Trump has fired in just over a month.  In early April he fired Michael Atkinson for his proper handling of the whistleblower complaint that led to Trump’s impeachment.  Then just a few days later, he fired Glenn Fine, the inspector general at the Department of Defense, who had been chosen to lead the newly formed Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.  The committee was to oversee the disbursement of the $2.3 trillion stimulus package approved by Congress.

Three inspectors general fired in a month’s time.  A U.S. federal inspector general (IG) is the head of an independent, non-partisan organization established within each executive branch agency assigned to audit the agency’s operation in order to discover and investigate cases of misconduct, waste, fraud and other abuse of government procedures.  So, in essence, Trump is removing all oversight of his administration, replacing men and women of conscience with his own hand-picked people.  This is akin to the fox guarding the henhouse.  And it poses a danger to this nation, for it evades all accountability by this administration.

Who will be next on his hit list?  When the U.S. Senate failed miserably to do their job on February 5th, they unleashed a monster.  They essentially told Trump just what Attorney General William Barr told him last year, that there is no law that applies to Donald Trump, that he is free to do as he wishes.  He began his purge with Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and his brother, then Admiral Joseph Maguire.  There may have been others that just didn’t cross my radar … almost certainly were.  And there will be more.

To date, every single senate-confirmed person has been removed from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  All that remain are appointees or ‘acting’ officials, none approved by anyone other than Trump himself.  It is also worth noting that Trump’s purging isn’t just retaliatory, it’s forward-looking, too. By removing officials who committed the sin of trying to defend the rule of law from his efforts to corrupt it, Trump sends a message to others about what awaits them if they try to stand in the way.

These are the moves of an autocrat, folks.  This reeks of corruption, and it sets off warning bells, at least in my head, that Trump is setting the stage, making sure there are none left who will stand in his way.  His way of what?  Think about it.